Socioeconomic Factors Influence Survival of Younger Patients With Multiple Myeloma

myeloma-SchemeWhile there have been many advances in the treatment of Multiple Myeloma (a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognise and attack germs. Multiple Myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells) that have led to improved survival, it seemed that this was only relevant to young white patients; patients of other ethnicities saw less of an increase in survival rates.

A new study, Impact of Marital Status, Insurance Status, Income, and Race/Ethnicity on the Survival of Younger Patients Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in the United States,  published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, has found that this has more to do with socioeconomic differences between whites and ethnic minorities, not race itself.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham studied data on more than 10,000 US patients less than 65 years of age with multiple myeloma and found that marital status, income, and insurance status contributed more to an affected patients’ chances of survival than race/ethnicity  does.

For example:

An unmarried patient who living in a low-income country, who was a beneficiary of Medicaid (government sponsored medical care) had a 25% lower likelihood of being alive 4 years after diagnosis than a patient of the same age who was married, lived in a medium to high income county, and had private medical insurance.

The conclusion was that Sociodemographic factors that potentially affect care, but not race/ethnicity, were found to influence the survival of younger patients with MM.

Luciano Costa, MD, PhD, University of Alabama, stated:

This finding strongly suggests that there is a huge disparity in outcomes that could potentially be overcome by improving access and affordability of treatments. With the recent emphasis on comparative effectiveness in oncology, it also becomes crucial that all variables affecting outcomes – including sociodemographic factors – are accounted for when comparisons between different therapeutic approaches and health care systems are made.




About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 25 August, 2016, in Blog, Research and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Socioeconomic Factors Influence Survival of Younger Patients With Multiple Myeloma.

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